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When Zealotry Crosses the Line of Decency
Seattle Post-Intelligencer ^ | 8 October 2005 | Robert Jamieson

Posted on 10/08/2005 9:12:28 AM PDT by Publius

The tan-colored home in Shoreline shows signs of the times.

A blue sign near the window reads, "Bush-Cheney."

A large one near the front walkway declares, "Elect David Irons -- King County Executive."

Ken Potts, a Vietnam War veteran and Shoreline resident, has become the target of vandalism aimed at his politics.

An electronic display in an upstairs window scrolls these words in red: "Liberalism is a mental disorder."

"That's a quote from Michael Savage," Ken Potts, the owner of the home, explains, referring to the strident talk radio personality. "He's a little right of me, but he comes up with good stuff sometimes."

Potts leans politically right, and unapologetically so.

A strong Christian and an Army vet with three tours in Vietnam, Potts, a King County Jail corrections officer, considers himself a patriot of America.

This explains the handful of tiny American flags in his front yard, the neon American flag display in the front window and the 25-foot-high flagpole out front, flying red, white and blue.

One new message at the Potts household is as bold as it is unwanted: "BUSHNAZIS."

The word was spray-painted in 2-foot-tall black letters a little more than a week ago, when Potts was on a photography trip in Southeast Asia.

To see the writing on the side of the home is to bear witness to the rising temperature of our liberal-minded community.

As the war in Iraq trudges on, free expression comes with an unexpected cost -- attacks on private property.

What is worse, some people accuse Potts -- a man who tells me that he was thousands of miles away when the words appeared -- of having a hand in what happened as part of a politically motivated stunt.

I asked Potts about that. He reacted as if someone had cold-cocked him.

"When people question your integrity, your honesty," the Purple Heart recipient said, shaking his head as leaves rustled in his yard near North 185th Street, "it's worse than the attacks itself."

Note that he said "attacks," plural.

The anti-Bush scrawl on the house Potts has called home for 15 years prompted him for the first time to speak up about other recent vandalism -- incidents being investigated by the King County Sheriff's Office.

For months, unknown people have targeted the property. For months, the property owner has kept silent.

One night in May of last year Potts heard a thump-thump at midnight. He jumped out of bed, went outside and saw that one of his Bush-Cheney signs had been pelted with raw eggs. Part of his house was drenched in yolk, too. Soon afterward, someone poured gray paint on a pro-GOP sign.

His mailbox has been blown up twice with firecrackers. That was back in 2003 and 2004. Potts now has a heavy-gauge steel mailbox cemented into the ground.

Vandals have taken down his American flag three times. Twice it was stolen. A third time the miscreants tore it up and left the shreds in the yard.

Another time, Potts said, someone drew a swastika on his white 101st Airborne Division flag emblazoned with the division's screaming eagle symbol.

On the flag, the trespasser also wrote, in red, "murderer."

Potts, 58, couldn't fathom why someone would invoke such a heinous symbol. The 101st, which Potts was a part of when he suffered shrapnel wounds in Vietnam, led the charge to thwart the Nazis during World War II.

Not long ago, someone keyed the family's black truck -- the vehicle with the bumper sticker asking people to support U.S. troops.

And now this: BUSHNAZIS.

It all stems from ignorance, the kind of zealotry one finds in extremists of all political stripes, people who cross the line of common decency.

Potts' wife, Marytia, says vandalism is pointless.

A native of Vietnam, Marytia met Potts when he was a soldier. They have been married 36 years and have two grown children. Having come from an authoritarian Third World country, Potts' wife says she appreciates the freedoms and opportunities in the United States -- blessings that brave soldiers help to preserve.

The couple now fear that the people responsible for attacking their home might ratchet up the intimidation.

That is why they have installed security cameras.

So, it has come to this.

In America, civil people are supposed to be able to agree to disagree. In America, people are supposed to respect the private property of others.

What's been happening to the Potts is a display of the un-American way.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: 2004election; brownshirts; brownshirtsforkerry; civilwar2; civilwarii; democrats; despotism; dncbrownshirts; election2004; hatecrime; intimidation; liberals; pc; politicalcorrectness; politicallycorrect; republicans; vandalism
This is a new article on the topic, an editorial from our leading leftist rag this time. For once, Jamieson, an unabashed liberal, has gotten one right.
1 posted on 10/08/2005 9:12:29 AM PDT by Publius
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To: Baynative

Could you please ping the chapter? This could make for a fine discussion at this afternoon's Puget Sound Chapter FReeper Meet. (I won't be able to attend, so everyone else can fill in for me.)


2 posted on 10/08/2005 9:14:13 AM PDT by Publius
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To: Publius

It is good, but unexpected, to see that he did not "egg" the miscreants on. So much of this behavior has gotten a "pass" from the leftist media.


3 posted on 10/08/2005 9:16:55 AM PDT by marktwain
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To: Publius

...So, it has come to this...

It will get much worse before it gets better.


4 posted on 10/08/2005 9:17:11 AM PDT by the gillman@blacklagoon.com ( Welcome to the Canexico Community!)
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To: Publius
This is a new article on the topic, an editorial from our leading leftist rag this time. For once, Jamieson, an unabashed liberal, has gotten one right.

I post on a left-leaning blog for fun, and I get vulgarities and profanity hurled at me all the time.

I fight back by turning some of those into my own joke at myself. It makes the folks hurling the insults look like the true a-holes they are - and the more decent liberals even acknowlege that.

So let the nutbars attack us, and respond with grace and wit instead of replying in kind. It shows we are winning, because they are so frustrated that they have been reduced to vile attacks that only demonstrate how bankrupt their positions have become.

And I really do have to laugh when they talk about a civil war because of Bush. After all, they are the ones in favor of peace and love and gun control, wheras our side is armed to the teeth. So their talk is just as cowardly as spray painting someone's house when they are away.

5 posted on 10/08/2005 9:18:38 AM PDT by dirtboy (Drool overflowed my buffer...)
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To: Publius

But I thought the left was all about tolerance!


6 posted on 10/08/2005 9:20:33 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Publius

'Brave' 'liberals', or their children.

Of interest may be that middle-aged head-case/egg-thrower Ted Rall is spewing his filth over at MAD magazine now. My daughter had a copy from a friend. Same old stuff from Ted.

So it's come to this: the party of Jefferson is reduced to puerile, juvenile, cowardly intolerance.


7 posted on 10/08/2005 9:27:19 AM PDT by tumblindice
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To: Publius
His mailbox has been blown up twice with firecrackers. That was back in 2003 and 2004. Potts now has a heavy-gauge steel mailbox cemented into the ground.

And that is a federal felony.

So9

8 posted on 10/08/2005 9:31:34 AM PDT by Servant of the 9 (Trust Me)
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To: Servant of the 9

The other day I was on a discussion board about abortions, and some prochoice people were on there their mouths were just plain vulgar. Not only vulgar but they were filled with hate and just plain evil. As I was reading some of their responses I truly felt like I was in the presence of evil. All this vulgar and hate was in the defense of killing babies. All it did was confirm just how evil abortion is. But with a country that is suppose to be christians are we christian enough to rid this country of the evil of abortion.


9 posted on 10/08/2005 9:43:59 AM PDT by red irish
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To: dirtboy

Talk about left-leaning blogs and such, I'll tell you that the nutbars have practically taken over the Yahoo! Finance stock message boards...you should see some of the anti-Bush, anti-conservative bilge they spew!


10 posted on 10/08/2005 10:04:07 AM PDT by Frank_2001
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To: Publius

This article provides a good illustration of the left for what it is: kind, humanitarian, compassionate, and caring. The left has always had these qualities. It is our task to expose them for what they are, whenever they can. I know too many people who are Democrat voting liberals because they honestly think the left is all about the qualities I mentioned above.


11 posted on 10/08/2005 10:16:10 AM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: tumblindice

MAD sucked the day they added real advertising.

Harvey Kurtzman would hang his head in shame to learn that a rabid anarchist-socialist is now an established contributor.

In the 1950s Bill Gaines asked "Are you a Red Dupe?"

The answer at Time-Life-Warner is obviously YES!!!


12 posted on 10/08/2005 10:45:37 AM PDT by weegee (The lesson from New Orleans? Smart Growth kills. You can't evacuate dense populations easily.)
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To: Publius
[...one of his Bush-Cheney signs had been pelted with raw eggs. Part of his house was drenched in yolk, too. Soon afterward, someone poured gray paint on a pro-GOP sign. His mailbox has been blown up twice with firecrackers. That was back in 2003 and 2004. Potts now has a heavy-gauge steel mailbox cemented into the ground. Vandals have taken down his American flag three times. Twice it was stolen. A third time the miscreants tore it up and left the shreds in the yard. Another time, Potts said, someone drew a swastika on his white 101st Airborne Division flag emblazoned with the division's screaming eagle symbol. On the flag, the trespasser also wrote, in red, "murderer."]


Last weekend, a Bush hating person tried to convince me that Rush Limbaugh shouldn't be on the air because his program promoted intolerance and encouraged extremists to commit violence against the left. When I told her that Rush takes every possible step make sure that his audience knows that his fight is strictly in "the arena of ideas", she said that didn't matter. she held Rush and other right wing commentators responsible for any violence against the left.

She also excused any left wing commentators from responsibility because "that's different".

Of course it's different. Those people are on HER side.

Hypocrites.
13 posted on 10/08/2005 10:46:11 AM PDT by spinestein (Forget the Golden Rule. Remember the Brazen Rule.)
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To: exDemMom

The smears the left uses against the right are the same that the Soviets used against the United States.

Throwing bricks through the window of someone you don't agree with politically (because of a campaign sign) is intimidation and despotism.

The left shares more in common with the brownshirts than just that swastika that they love painting everywhere.


14 posted on 10/08/2005 10:47:56 AM PDT by weegee (The lesson from New Orleans? Smart Growth kills. You can't evacuate dense populations easily.)
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To: spinestein

Ask her why the national media was silent on these stories but pushed Bill Clinton's tales of a rash of church fires in the South in the 1990s:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/keyword?k=brownshirtsforkerry

If she says that "Republicans did those things too" then ask her for the citations to the articles. Names, dats, places, charges...

Political correctness sucks. Hating someone's political party is not a "hate crime". You can't hate someone's religious or sexual beliefs but you can hate (and act on that hate) someone's political beliefs.

Political correctness shields the left and criminalizes right wing dissent from the liberal agenda. Go ahead and paint slurs on the home, business, or party office of Republicans. It is "just vandalism". Like "Go Tigers" on the property of the competing school.


15 posted on 10/08/2005 10:52:56 AM PDT by weegee (The lesson from New Orleans? Smart Growth kills. You can't evacuate dense populations easily.)
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

Comment #17 Removed by Moderator

To: Publius
In America, people are supposed to respect the private property of others.

Oh really, Mr. Jamieson? Then why are all the newpapers in Washington supporting I-901 that forces a tobacco use ban in private businesses?

What was done to this man's home is a disgrace and should be condemned - but so should any disrespect for all private property.

18 posted on 10/08/2005 11:14:13 AM PDT by Gabz
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To: sionnsar

Ping


19 posted on 10/08/2005 11:21:39 AM PDT by annie laurie (All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost)
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To: red irish
Yeah I know what you mean about abortion. Those guys give me the willies.

But with a country that is suppose to be christians are we christian enough to rid this country of the evil of abortion.

We will always have good and evil in this world -- they are in a perpetual war. Abortion and the other liberal ills are just Evil's current tactics for this decade.

Seriously, if you were Satan and wanted to destroy humanity, wouldn't you take up exactly the Democrats' platform? Attack God, attack the family, attack any organization that promotes decency, like the Boy Scouts. And do it all in the name of civil liberties and privacy and "xxx"'s rights and other benign-sounding concepts. How insidious is that?

20 posted on 10/08/2005 12:06:49 PM PDT by BamaGirl (The Framers Rule!)
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To: Libertina; IYellAtMyTV; Mystic; M0sby; chgomac; ShorelineMike; eeman; BADROTOFINGER; Delmont; ...

Evergreen State ping

FReepmail sionnsar if you want on or off this ping list.

Ping sionnsar if you see a Washington state related thread.

21 posted on 10/08/2005 8:31:06 PM PDT by sionnsar (†trad-anglican.faithweb.com† || (To Libs:) You are failing to celebrate MY diversity! || Iran Azadi)
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To: Billthedrill

Ping.


22 posted on 10/08/2005 8:37:32 PM PDT by Publius
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To: Publius

This article proves that in Washington State, free speech applies only if you are a lib-nut.


23 posted on 10/08/2005 8:43:36 PM PDT by trubluolyguy (Ready, Stop! Hamster Time!)
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